Daily Devotion, August 7 - When the Church Prays

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – August 7
Reading: Acts 12:1-11, John 14:3; Romans 8:38-39q
When the Church Prays
Throughout the Bible are God’s promises to never leave or forsake us and to always be with us. As I write this devotion, I am alone and it is thundering and lightening. While I am not exactly scared, I have great respect for the impact lightening can have. When I was little I remember my mama telling us to be still when it was thundering and lightening because the Lord was doing his work. I had this image in my mind of God moving furniture around. My mama was trying to teach us that God was with us, protecting us during the storms of life and to focus on God and pray and the storm would soon pass.

In today's Scripture reading, Peter was “in a storm” of sorts in Acts 12:1-11. James had just been put to death by sword and Peter was about to get executed by Herod. He was heavily guarded by 16 soldiers and was forced to sleep, bound with two chains between two soldiers. But Luke tells us that the church prayed to God for Peter to be delivered. And an angel appeared before him and told him to get up and the chains fell off of Peter’s wrists. The angel told Peter to get dressed and wrap his cloak around him and follow him. And Peter was led by an angel out of prison. Peter thought he was dreaming but he quickly realized that God’s promise to always deliver us is real and he realized that without a doubt the Lord sent an angel to rescue him. When the church prays, God hears our prayers and responds.

In John 14:3, Jesus promises us that he will never leave nor forsake us and tells us in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing…not even death… can separate us from the love of God. No matter what storm we find ourselves going through, Jesus is with us to give us peace, hope, joy and comfort. We can be delivered from a really serious crisis such as the one Peter found himself in, or through a storm, or we can be delivered from this life but God is always with us. How we are delivered is up to God but in God’s way and in God’s timing we will be delivered and in the meantime, we can find comfort in knowing that God keeps his promises and nothing can separate us from his love. And so we pray, because when the church prays God hears our prayers and delivers us through the storms of life. We may have to go through storms but we will get to the other side if we put our faith and trust in the One who keeps his promises.

Dear God, thank you for delivering us through the many storms of this life. Right now, we are facing the storms of corona virus and of racism and divisiveness and uncertainty and violence in our nation. But we are praying to you dear God, with hope and strong assurance that you will see us through the storms and draw us ever closer to you and to each other as fellow believers. Help us to believe you are present with us and follow the leading of your Holy Spirit to listen and respond to you when you come to our rescue. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 
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